This week there has been discussion in Patient Transport Services about the confusing directives from management during the current COVID outbreak in NSW. HSU members and delegates met to discuss steps that can be taken to ensure that PTO’s voices are heard and the community is kept safe. A vote was held on Thursday 15th of July, and the measures below were agreed upon.
All HSU members should adhere to the following starting Friday 16th of July:
The use of full PPE for each patient, including appropriate donning and doffing procedures, is to be in line with the current advice from NSW Health, to ensure members are not refused entry or found in breach by venues.
While out on the road, if there is not enough PPE available for the upcoming jobs, the car is to return to base immediately and wait to be issued with adequate PPE.
No movement of patients from Amber to Red zones and back again
As a full infectious clean of the car has been specified by management between patients, this must be undertaken by a professional service with specialised training in COVID deep cleaning.
An indefinite ban on PTOs crossing over from transporting a suspected COVID patient to business as usual (BAU) for the entire shift
Interim ban on BAU crews being asked to become COVID crews until full due diligence has been completed and agreed to by PTO HSU delegates. This includes proper briefings and training.
PTO cars should stay in their Local Government Area (LGA) if possible. Only if there is no other option should cars be moving outside of their LGA to perform jobs. If a car must leave the LGA, they should return immediately.
No unnecessary staff movements from Amber to Red zones, as this is a risk to PTOs and their local (Amber) community.
If you are required to get tested for COVID, this should be done during work hours.
If any HSU members are asked to contravene these points, they should contact their local delegate, and can use the following script:
“To fall in line with current health advice and to keep everyone safe, HSU members are taking industrial action. On that basis we/I have to refuse that direction.”
Patient Transport Services are still transporting our most vulnerable community members at the height of the pandemic. Don’t be afraid to fight for your rights at work, even at this stressful time. HSU members will always have each other’s back.